Game 7 preview: Patriots at Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Patriots visit the New York Jets in their second meeting of the season, but each team comes into the Week 7 matchup hobbled by injuries.

Unlike their Week 2 matchup, the Patriots will be without starters Aqib Talib (hip) and Tommy Kelly (knee) in addition to Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo, who have been placed on season-ending injured reserve. Wide receiver Danny Amendola, out with a concussion and lingering groin injury, did not play in the teams’ first meeting.

The Jets will be without wide receiver Santonio Holmes (foot/hamstring) and former Patriot tight end Kellen Winslow (suspension), key components to the team’s offense. The Jets have turned around and signed wide receivers David Nelson and Josh Cribbs.


However, the Patriots will likely be bolstered by the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) who has been cleared to play by his medical advisers, according to his agent. He could help the Patriots’ 30th ranked offense in the red zone, which has scored a woeful 40.9 percent rate of touchdowns inside the 20.

“I don’t know if they were saving him for us, or whatever, but I had a funny feeling he was going to play,” said Jets coach Rex Ryan. “After that first game, I felt for sure he’d play against us the second game.”

The Patriots have won their last six regular season meetings with the Jets, including a 13-10 victory on Sept. 12, and look to sweep their season series for the third straight year. Jets quarterback Geno Smith (59.5 completion rate, 7 TDs, 10 INTs, 1,490 yards) threw a pivotal interception to Talib in the Jets’ first meeting with the Patriots, which sealed the win for the Patriots in the final moment of the game. He’s averaging 2.16 turnovers per game.

Bill Belichick is 21-9 against the Jets while with the Patriots.

Here are the details for today’s game:

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

Records: Patriots 5-1; Jets 3-3.


TV/Radio: CBS (Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf); 98.5-FM The Sports Hub (Bob Socci, Scott Zolak) and ESPN Radio (Ryan Ruocco, Herm Edwards).

Projected starting lineups:
Based on information distributed to the media, practice observations, and injuries for each team.

Patriots offense: WR Julian Edelman, LT Nate Solder, LG Logan Mankins, C Ryan Wendell, RG Marcus Cannon, RT Sebastian Vollmer, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, QB Tom Brady, RB Stevan Ridley, TE Michael Hoomanawanui.

Patriots defense: DT Joe Vellano, DT Chris Jones, DE Chandler Jones, DE Rob Ninkovich, LB Dont’a Hightower, LB Jamie Collins, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Alfonzo Dennard, CB Kyle Arrington, S Devin McCourty, S Steve Gregory.

Jets offense: WR Stephen Hill, LT D’Brickshaw Ferguson, LG Brian Winters, C Nick Mangold, RG Willie Colon, RT Austin Howard, TE Jeff Cumberland, WR Jeremy Kerley, QB Geno Smith, FB Tommy Bohanon, RB Bilal Powell.

Jets defense: DE Muhammad Wilkerson, NT Damon Harrison, DT Sheldon Richardson, OLB Quinton Coples, WLB Demario Davis, MLB David Harris, OLB Calvin Pace, CB Dee Milliner, CB Antonio Cromartie, S Antonio Allen, S Dawan Landry.

Read this, link that

– What, exactly, will Rob Gronkowski’s impact be? Will he even play? We break it down in the latest Patscetera.

– Shalise Manza Young profiles rookie wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins in the latest “Getting to know…” feature.

– In the New York Post, the Jets are apparently in a huff over not getting proper credit for the work its defense did against the Patriots in Week 2.

– In the New York Daily News, the Jets say they’re ready for Gronkowski.


– In Newsday, the Jets see rematch with the Patriots as a must-win.

– Follow today’s game and comment on the action in our live blog. Updates start around 11:30 a.m.

Zuri Berry can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

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